Associated Press Says: Don’t Cut Taxes!

The Associated Press is one of many “news” outlets that has gone into overt opposition, now that we have a Republican rather than a Democrat in the White House. Today’s AP “Top News” feature is headlined: Doubts arise on whether corporate tax cut would boost growth. The passive voice is generally a giveaway. Where, exactly, are doubts “arising”?

Trump insists that slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to as low as 15 percent would free up valuable cash. Companies would use the money to boost investment, increase employees’ pay, accelerate hiring and speed economic growth. What’s more, corporations that now keep trillions overseas to avoid U.S. taxes would bring the money home. American companies could better compete with rivals based in countries with lower tax rates.

“We’re going to have magnificent growth,” Trump declared aboard Air Force One on Thursday. “We’re going to go like a rocket ship.”

Would we? Many economists, tax experts and even some business owners say it’s unlikely. Rather than hire, companies might use much of their tax savings to buy back their stock or increase their dividends to investors. Many companies, they note, have already been able to borrow at historically low rates to expand their businesses yet have chosen not to.

“The mainstream economic evidence is that the bulk of corporate tax cuts go exactly to whom you would expect — which is wealthy investors and executives,” said Chye-Ching Huang, deputy director of federal tax policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

News flash for the AP: the “left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities” is in favor of higher taxes, all the time. Their doubts didn’t just “arise.”

The AP acknowledges in passing that many economists agree with Trump, but goes on to make the case against tax cuts. It cites arguments in favor of corporate tax cuts, then goes to a series of liberals to rebut them: the “nonpartisan Tax Policy Center,” which is a joint venture of the liberal Urban Institute and the liberal Brookings Institution; “the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy;” and “Larry Summers, a Democratic former Treasury secretary.”

The Democratic Party is, of course, entitled to oppose corporate tax cuts. But unlike the Republicans, the Democrats get to make their arguments in the guise of news stories promulgated by the “nonpartisan” Associated Press.

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